Places to Eat: Arabian Tea House Café – Dubai
Name: Arabian Tea House Café
Ambience: The fragrant smell of burning oud perfumes the air at the entrance, enticing passersby to step through the decorative entrance way, past a well, and into the shady courtyard. The burning of incense is a quintessential sign of hospitality in the region, and an apt touch for an establishment aiming to embody this. White cushions nestle on bright blue wooden benches in an open-air space that is inviting to all the senses. The aromas of food cooking, the sound of birdsong, and interesting décor elements that remind one of the past, all invite one to relax and linger.
Location: Located on the perimeter of the Bastakiya or Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, it forms part of the nostalgic past of Dubai, and is a wonderful place to get a glimpse into the past of the city and its people.
The easiest to get there is to make use of the Metro. Get off at Al Fahidi Station and exit through Exit 4. Walk straight ahead towards the creek. When you reach the roundabout the Arabian Tea House Café and Bastakiya or Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood will be more or less in front of you.
Opening times: 7.30 am – 10.00 pm Daily
Quality of Food: There is a lovely variety of offerings, including some traditional foods and drinks. Their speciality teas are worth a try, and there is a variety of fresh juices to choose from. On my last visit I only dropped in for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and to escape the heat, but the food on the previous occasions that I visited was scrumptious and beautifully presented.
Worth Mentioning: The best time of the year to visit is during winter, when one can best enjoy its outdoor setting. In summer thick, clear plastic sheets are hung to create a smaller space, and ward off most of the summer heat, while portable air-conditioning units and big electric fans cool the space down.
Make this a stopover for breakfast, lunch or dinner, while exploring the old part of Dubai.